Vanilla Custard Trifle

I’m always looking for an easy dessert to make ahead of time for my dinner parties. I typically will make pies or cheesecake but I wanted to try something different. Using the custard recipe I make for my banana cream pie I created this amazing trifle.

The custard recipe was shared by my friend Penny of Penny’s Pies. I have changed a few methods of her recipe as I have tested this out and made this many times.

Vanilla Custard Trifle

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print


Trifle Ingredients:

  • 1 trifle bowl
  • 1 pound cake loaf  (cut in slices)
  • 2 cups fresh whipped cream (not in a can)
  • 1 package of strawberries (sliced and cut)
  • Custard

Custard Ingredients:

  • 1 package of unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 6 extra large egg yolks
  • 1 cup bakers sugar
  • 1 cup half and half (warmed to just tepid)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp chilled butter

Custard Directions:

  • Soften the gelatin in the 1/4 cup of water
  • In a medium size saucepan, off heat, beat egg yolks and gradually add 1 cup of sugar to the eggs, whisking continuously. Continue whisking by hand for 2 more minutes until egg yolks and sugar are thick and light yellow in color.
  • Slowly whisk in the warmed milk or half and half to the yolk/sugar mixture until well blended, about ¼ cup at a time.
  • Place saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly. Foam will form on the surface and as the filling comes to a boil the foam will start to disappear. When the filling comes to a full boil, remove from heat immediately. Add the softened gelatin and stir in until melted. Add vanilla extract, butter and stir until fully combined.
  • Pour filling into a large bowl, place in refrigerator for one to two hours until set.

Trifle Directions:

  • In a trifle bowl, place the cut slices of pound cake on the bottom
  • Add half the custard and smooth over the top of the pound cake
  • Add half the whipped cream and smooth over the top of custard
  • Add cut strawberries to layer the top of whipped cream
  • Add another round of pound cake
  • Add custard
  • Add whipped cream
  • Add strawberries
  • Chill for 3-4 hours
  • Serve cold



Raspberry Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

It’s the holidays and nothing is better than getting some fresh cookies as a gift. I’ve been making these cookies for 10 years and it is always a hit with everyone. Typically this time of year my lemon tree is producing hundreds of ripe lemons for me to use so its perfect!

This recipe is courtesy of Emeril Lagasse -

Raspberry Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

  • Servings: 4 dozen
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print



  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam or jelly
  • 1 tablespoon Chambord or kirsch
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter 2 large baking sheets.

In a small bowl, combine the jam and Chambord. Stir to combine.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk to blend.

In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in the egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Add the flour mixture in 2 additions and beat just until moist clumps form. Gather the dough together into a ball.

Pinch off the dough to form 1-inch balls. Place on the prepared baking sheets, spacing 1-inch apart. Use your floured index finger or 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon to create depressions in the center of each ball. Fill each indentation with nearly 1/2 teaspoon of the jam mixture. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Bourbon Pecan Tarts

My husbands favorite pie is pecan pie. I didn’t want to make a full pecan pie but a smaller bite size version for our dinner party last night. I came up with my own recipe and I think it turned out pretty good!

Bourbon Pecan Tarts

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


Filling Ingredients –

  • 3 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 cup of light corn syrup
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of bourbon
  • 1 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups of finely chopped pecans

Directions – 

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Beat eggs with fork in a bowl, stir in corn syrup, sugars, bourbon, butter and vanilla
  • Set aside to prepare shells
  • You will need a jumbo cup sized muffin pan or tart pan
  • Roll out any type of pie dough (I use recipe)
  • Cut out 5 inch circle
  • Place in muffin pan with the sides halfway up the each cup. You should be able to make six.
  • Evenly spoon pecans into the muffin tins for all six
  • Pour the liquid mixture evenly to the top of each muffin cup
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes (depending on your oven)
  • Insert cake tester in the center and it comes out clean they are cooked.
  • Let cool and remove from the pan
  • Serve with vanilla ice cream



Chess Pie (Buttermilk Pie)

My friend Clifford came over to cook with me this weekend. One thing that really excited me is when I have friends and family share recipes that they have been making for years. Clifford called his grandmother Maggie who lives in the south to get her recipe for Chess Pie. Apparently she’s been making this pie since the 1940’s.

We made it and it turned out amazing! So simple and so delicious!

Chess Pie (Buttermilk Pie)

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

IMG_1511 IMG_1521

Filling Ingredients –

  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 6 eggs (beaten)
  • 2 tablespoons of flower
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup of melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla

Combine sugar and flower and mix well. Add in beaten eggs and buttermilk mix well. Add melted butter and vanilla.

Bake at 350 for 45-1 hour (you should be able to put a toothpick in the center and be clean when removing)

(we baked ours for a little longer, it depends on your oven. Watch your pie.

Let cool and serve.

Pie Crust –

You can use any pie crust you want.

About 2 years ago, I took a class with Penny and learned her amazing technique ( It simple and easy and delicious. This is the pie crust I used when we made this pie.

I hope you enjoy!